By Richard Mann, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (Social-Liberal Party) claimed yesterday that Justice and Public Security Minister Sergio Moro will be appointed to Supreme Court Justice once now Justice Celso de Mello retires in November next year.
“As soon as the first [Supreme Court] opening frees up, I made a commitment to Moro, and I intend to… Actually, not only intend to but God willing we’ll make good on that commitment,” Bolsonaro said in an interview to Radio Bandeirantes.
The president confirmed that he undertook this commitment to Moro after his victory in the elections last year when he made the decision of inviting the then judge to be part of his government.
Moro, who rose to prominence after his tenure in the Car Wash Operation as a judge in the 13th Federal Criminal Court, in Curitiba, had to abandon his status as a judge in order to enter the Executive branch.
Bolsonaro stated Moro as a Supreme Court Justice will be a “great ally” to the country and should be “applauded by the nation”. He emphasized, however, that any and everyone appointed to the Court must be questioned and approved by the Senate.
“I know he’s more than competent to get the Senate’s approval. But it is a technical-political questioning,” the president said.
In an interview to Portuguese newspaper “Expresso” last month, Moro compared being appointed to the Supreme Court to winning the lottery. “It’s not simple. My goal is just to do my job,” he said when questioned about the possibility.
By law, it is up to the President to appoint new Supreme Court Justices. After the choice is made, the Senate must question the appointed and either approve or deny his or her appointment.
Besides next year’s opening, Bolsonaro will have another one at his disposal during his term, as Marco Aurélio Mello is due to retire in 2021.
The last Justice to enter the Supreme Court was Alexandre de Moraes, who was former President Michel Timer’s (Democratic Movement of Brazil) Justice Minister.